We’re in the thick of it, folks. We’re at that point in the season where it feels like summer is eternal and fall will never come. While you all up north are popping cherry tomatoes still warm from the sun for a midmorning snack, and reveling in your garden’s giant zucchinis, we in the south are starting to plan our fall gardens. I’ve tried and failed the past couple of years to have a backyard garden. When we bought our little house, I had dreams of an Ina Garten-style backyard full of rows upon rows of lush produce just waiting to be picked. I’d have a whole bed of greens for nightly salads and rows of sweet peas and green beans for dinner. I would dry my own herbs to be used all year long. And the holy grail – I would grow my own pumpkins to be ready for Halloween carving. But so far…it’s been a pipe dream.
I had a hard time grasping the timing of planting in the south. My first year, I planted too early in the summer and the little plants couldn’t withstand the heat. One year, we had an attack of ants on everything in the garden. And, my favorite, or perhaps most depressing memory: We left for a three day weekend and came back to dead plants. Apparently in Florida, watering every single day is essential. These little mishaps haven’t stopped me from planning a garden every year, with or without my alleged (by Mike) black thumb. This year, just like years past, I’ll check stacks upon stacks of Florida vegetable gardening books out from the library. Then, I’ll dutifully scour the IFAS website for tips that I may have missed the last time around. And finally, I will consult my woeful gardening journal for what (many) missteps I took last year. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. This year may just be my year! I know now at least, (I think!) that I shouldn’t plan on putting anything in the ground until at least August. 🙂
Here are just a few little things that make gardening a little bit dreamier:
Garden boots for tromping around in the morning dew.
Seed packets, supposedly the best varieties for Florida’s climate.
A spade and fork set to make the work a little bit easier.
A cotton garden bandana for romance.
A hat with a brim for sun protection.
A natural woven basket for gathering up the harvest.
This helpful guide on planting fruits and vegetables and the best ways to do it.